Sunday, July 18, 2010


photo by Pallas

Ok I admit it.

I’ve been lying.

Not really lying buuutttttt not telling the full truth.

Because well, people look at me funny when I say, “I’m good!” “I’m doing well.” after they ask “How are you?”

I interpret their look to mean “but she’s a widow.”

While writing lately, I’ve stayed within the imaginary widow party lines that says widows are always sad and lonely and forlorn.

I’m not.

Not always.

Not most of the time any more.

In fact, I can say other than the lack of sleep I’ve been experiencing lately, I’m happy.

I don’t want none-widowed people to think “Well, good she’s done grieving.” Grief is still in my life. It always will be. But it’s not the kind you see in photos of those who just recently lost. It’s stealth grief. Like the other day, after seeing a photo of my therapist’s family, one I have seen like a gazillion times, I burst into tears realizing that Art will never be in a family photo again. I was back in that place of loss, confusion and questioning. It lasted all of 5 minutes.

And then


The moment passed and we laughed at something not related to him or the grief and I left and I went on my merry way. In fact, I did not think of Art at all for the rest of the day.

I want those none-grieving people to know that one never “gets over” a loss. And that in sudden unexpected, random moments the loss hits, like a brick thrown at the back of my head by some stupid bully. And I see stars and can’t breathe and nothing makes sense.

And then just as abruptly the world right’s itself and I am applying lip gloss while driving a large vehicle in traffic, thinking about what I will make for dinner tonight and trying to remember which kid I am supposed to pick up first.

Just by admitting this, I feel almost like a traitor of sorts. Somehow I’m not playing the “widow” part right.

My life includes a hell of a lot of laughter and giggles and crying… because I banged my funny bone on the door jam while skidding sideways trying to run on the hardwood floor (with socks on) trying not to get tagged by my eight year old.

My life includes a stomach workout because my oldest son repeats a joke with words I forbid him but does it imitating the Little Mermaid.

My life includes ‘brain on fire’ moments when my assistant and I are reviewing and tweeking my 6 month marketing plan.

My life includes cute smiles directed toward the guy who strikes up a conversation with me in the check-out line.

My life includes longing for Art, missing his hands on my back and it includes the excitement of new hands on my back, caressing my face, pulling me in.

I will always be a grieving widow just like I will always be an:
African American woman,
A mom,
An entrepreneur.

Just like I will always be the one who is quick to laugh or come back with some smart ass remark.

Just like I will always be up for a game and a little fun competition.

Just like I will always be hot…. (well…another lie, or is it? There are more and more hot over 60's out there, my mother so in that group!)

I am free…..

to order what I want on my pizza,
to decide where I want to go for vacation and
to decided NOT to do that run today.

I am free to…..
listen to the music I want to (when the kids are not playing dj)
Sleep on whatever side I choose (I haven’t switched but if I wanted to I could!)

I have the courage...
NOT be nice to those people ever, ever again!
to say "When you said____, I felt _______ which I didn't particularly care for. Or I am leaving till you can speak to me in a respectful tone."
To claim titles like "a good catch," good mother" and really a "decent friend."

Nothing is as serious as it used to be…..NOTHING!!!

I am light......walking just a weensy bit off the ground.

Oh and here's just one more little secret….

Most days, I don’t want him back.

I don’t.

Because if he were here, I wouldn’t be this woman I have become.
This woman that I am really diggin’.
This woman who is clear on her priorities...self, kids, my business. Men....stand in line.

I wouldn’t have the courage (or the experience) to know and say, with pride…
“I Kim Hamer am hot! And yes, I would love to have a drink with you, you lucky dog you!” (I don't so much as say it as I think it!)

If he were here, I would only see part of the light I have become.
I would not see my power.
I would not know that I, Kim Hamer have one thousand legs to stand on.
His death was my evolution.

So there.
This is the true face of my widowhood.

And it fuckin’ rocks!!!!


  1. The dirty secret - most of us go on to lives that are really pretty good and sometimes better than what we had before.

  2. WOW!!! YOU "fuckin' rock", Kim! Thank you for having the courage to say what a lot of us wouldn't dare... I REALLY like... NO, scratch that... I REALLY LOVE who I have become since 'My Rick' died!! Do I miss him?... OH HELL YEAH... EVERY DAY! Will I love him 'til MY dying breath?... another HELL YEAH!! But THIS NEW (and vastly improved) DeNece, is finally living MY life... I'm no longer "DeNece, Rick's wife"... I am now just "DeNece"... and like you, I feel pretty damn good about myself! BRAVO to you, Kim!!!

  3. I like your post! I'm not there yet, but it gives me hope.

  4. I have to say that I had to read this post several times because it just didn't sit well with me, and I didn't want to react too quickly before posting a comment. But after reading again, I still had the same reaction. Not the part where things are going well and there is happiness and the moving forward and finding life after the devastation of losing one's spouse. These are very good things! I have been a widow for 6+ years and have been moving forward slowly but surely, but I could never say that I am better because my husband died. My life was better with him here. I can't compare my before and after self by using terms like better. I will say I am different than I was before his death. Sometimes it's a good different and sometimes it's a bad different -- but better than before he died - NO WAY! This post did not encourage me -- actually it made me sad!

  5. I want to agree with the last post. I do not feel I am better since my husband's passing. Different, yes. But I do not wish to take that away from you. Your relationship with your husband was different than mine. I expected to spend my life with this man. Your post at first made me angry, but I realize that grief is different for each person. This maybe your way of coping with the situation and moving on. None of us had the " perfect reltionship, but maybe for each of us it was "perfect" at that time in our life. It is my wish that at some point I will find another " perfect" one for the new me that I am becoming. But I still believe that I am able to become a better person, because of the influence my late husband had one my life and the way I think now. He was always a fun and playful person,and I am a serious practical person. He taught me that fun has to be part of my life in order for me to enjoy it- even if you look like a kid. We really balanced each other. During my grieving journey, I could hear him say remeber to have some fun amd adventures in life and not take it all too serious!

  6. I actually smiled when I read the one last secret. See, I'm not a widow. I don't know what it feels like to lose my husband. I can see where others would be angry at your choice of words. But, I do see that same evolution, slowly, in my Mom. As much as she loved my Dad, and it pains both of us to have lost him, I smile at the chance that she has to become herself. The person she has never really had the chance to know.